Martita Morrison

Written by Martita Morrison

Modified & Updated: 16 Jul 2024


Royalty has always been a subject of immense fascination and curiosity. From the opulent palaces they reside in to the intricate rules of succession that determine who sits on the throne, every aspect of royal life is steeped in tradition and history. But beyond the crown jewels and ceremonial robes, there are countless intriguing facts about royalty that many people might not know. Whether it's the lesser-known duties of modern monarchs or the surprising hobbies of princes and princesses, the world of royalty is full of surprises. In this blog post, we'll uncover 20 facts about royalty that will give you a glimpse into the lives of the world's most famous royal families. Get ready to be amazed by the unique traditions, responsibilities, and little-known tidbits that make royalty so endlessly captivating.

Table of Contents

Royalty has always fascinated people around the world. From their lavish lifestyles to their roles in shaping history, monarchs and their families are subjects of endless curiosity. Let's delve into some intriguing facts about royalty that might surprise you.

The Origins of Monarchy

Monarchy is one of the oldest forms of government, with origins tracing back to ancient and medieval times. Kings and queens were seen not just as political figures but also as divinely chosen leaders.

  1. Historians believe the first monarchies formed in Mesopotamia around 4000 BCE. These early kings were seen as representatives of the gods on Earth.

  2. In ancient Egypt, pharaohs were not only political leaders but also considered gods themselves. This divine status helped them maintain control over their people.

Royal Families Around the World

While many think of European monarchies when they hear the word "royalty," royal families exist all over the globe, each with their unique traditions and histories.

  1. Japan's Imperial Family is the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world. According to legend, it dates back to 660 BCE with Emperor Jimmu, a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu.

  2. The Kingdom of Swaziland (now Eswatini) in Africa practices a unique tradition where the king chooses a new bride each year during the Reed Dance ceremony, a significant cultural event.

The Power and Wealth of Royalty

Royalty is often synonymous with wealth and power, though the extent of their influence has changed significantly over time.

  1. Queen Elizabeth II, before her passing, was not the richest monarch in the world. That title goes to the King of Thailand, Vajiralongkorn, whose wealth is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

  2. Despite popular belief, not all royal families live in extreme luxury. The Royal Family of Norway is known for their relatively modest lifestyle compared to other monarchies.

Royal Titles and Their Meanings

Royal titles are steeped in history and tradition, each carrying its own significance and story.

  1. The title "Tsar" used by Russian rulers until 1917, is derived from the Roman title "Caesar," signifying their claim to be the successors of the Roman emperors.

  2. In the United Kingdom, the title "Prince of Wales" is traditionally given to the heir apparent of the British throne, a practice that dates back to the 13th century.

Unique Royal Traditions

Royal families uphold a variety of traditions, some of which might seem unusual to outsiders.

  1. In the Netherlands, King's Day is celebrated annually with the entire country participating in orange-themed festivities and street markets, honoring the monarch's birthday.

  2. The British Royal Family has a tradition of not playing the board game Monopoly at home because, according to Prince Andrew, it gets too vicious.

Royal Residences

The palaces and castles of royal families are among the most splendid and historically significant buildings in the world.

  1. The Forbidden City in Beijing, China, was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It's a vast complex of 980 buildings covering 180 acres.

  2. Buckingham Palace in London has 775 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms.

Royals in the Military

Many members of royal families have served in their country's armed forces, continuing a tradition of military service.

  1. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, served in the British Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan.

  2. King Abdullah II of Jordan, before ascending to the throne, had a long career in the military, including serving as a major general in charge of Jordanian Special Forces.

Royals and Charity Work

Royalty often engages in philanthropic efforts, using their platforms to support various causes and charities.

  1. Princess Diana was renowned for her charity work, especially her campaigns against landmines and her support for people with HIV/AIDS.

  2. The Crown Princess of Denmark, Mary, is an active advocate for health, gender equality, and anti-bullying, working with various organizations and foundations.

The Future of Monarchy

As the world changes, so too does the role of monarchy in society, with many royal families adapting to modern expectations.

  1. In recent years, some monarchies have undergone reforms to become more transparent and less politically involved, focusing instead on ceremonial duties and charitable work.

  2. Public opinion on monarchy is mixed, with some viewing it as an outdated institution, while others see it as a vital part of their country's heritage and identity.

  3. Countries like Sweden have changed their laws of succession to absolute primogeniture, meaning the eldest child, regardless of gender, is first in line to the throne.

  4. With the advent of social media, royals now have new ways to connect with the public, sharing glimpses of their personal lives and work, which has helped to humanize them and make them more relatable to people around the world.

A Royal Send-off

We've journeyed through palaces, peeked into the lives of monarchs, and uncovered the gems of royalty. From the ancient crowns that have seen centuries to the modern-day princes and princesses shaping their roles in a new era, each fact has been a window into the opulent and duty-bound world of royalty. These stories, traditions, and bits of trivia aren't just about the past; they're alive, influencing and inspiring the world today. Whether it's the allure of a royal wedding or the solemnity of centuries-old ceremonies, the fascination with royalty proves that these figures, with their mix of human frailties and regal bearing, continue to captivate us. As we close this chapter, remember, the tales of kings, queens, and their courts are more than just facts. They're a testament to history's enduring legacy and the unbreakable bond between leaders and their people.

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